The Putnam Competition

What is It? 

The following information is taken from the Mathematical Association of America website (, where you can also see detailed overall results from previous years.

The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition is the preeminent mathematics competition for undergraduate students in the United States and Canada. Each year the Putnam Exam is held on the first Saturday in December.  The competition consists of two 3-hour sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. During each session, participants work individually on 6 challenging mathematical problems.

The Putnam began in 1938 as a competition between mathematics departments at colleges and universities. Now the competition has grown to be the leading university-level mathematics examination in the world. Although participants work independently on the problems, there is a team aspect to the competition as well. Each institution with at least three participants identifies three participants who comprise its team. Prizes are awarded to the participants with the highest scores and to the departments of mathematics of the five institutions whose teams obtain the highest rankings.

Fresno State and the Putnam

The Fresno State Mathematics Department offers $200 and $100 prizes to the Fresno State students who place first and second (respectively) among Fresno State students. (To be eligible, the students must receive a score of at least five points. In case of a tie for top score, the tied students will share a $300 award and there will be no second place prize. In case of a tie for second place, the tied students will share the $100 award.)

One of the recent editions of the Putnam Exam was held on Saturday, December 3, 2016. At Fresno State, ten undergraduate students and one high school student participated in the exam. Juhoon Chung received $200 as first price with a score of 20 points. Andres Zumba scored 3, John Fausone scored 2, and Olivia Krohn scored 1. These scores are quite impressive since 4164 students participated in the Putnam Exam in the United States and Canada and the overall median score was 1. Juhoon Chung ranked 733rd.

The Department of Mathematics wants to congratulate all participants of this prestigious contest.

For more information contact:

Dr. Stefaan Delcroix
PB 354

The Putnam website is